The number of reported rapes at the IU Bloomington campus is climbing

BLOOMINGTON — The number of reported rapes at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington is climbing.

Twenty-four students have reported being sexually assaulted to IU Police this academic year.  The university’s annual security report says there were 22 rapes in 2018, 21 in 2019, and 25 in 2020.

According to Sally Thomas, director of the campus Sexual Violence Prevention office, those numbers don’t include the students that have reached out for services and support but refuse to report they were raped. She says many refuse to report the crime because of fear of being blamed for the attack or will be second-guessed.

The problem with that is, if no one comes forward the assailant can not be prosecuted and is left free to commit more rapes.

In Indiana 2,475 rapes have been reported statewide in 2022.

This is not an isolated incident at IU, the number of reports of rapes at the nation’s colleges and universities has gone up each year since the federal government required schools to annually report campus crime statistics.

In a study that included interviews, focus groups, and observation on a dorm floor, freshman college women said they enjoyed wearing sexy clothes and flirting at parties, but most of them were not interested in casual sex. The male college students thought women were looking for sex partners.

The majority of sexual assaults involve alcohol.

Some male students systematically take advantage of college party situations to coerce or manipulate women into sex. Knowing the techniques of these “party rapists” can help women avoid them.

(1) Alcohol. Party rapists use alcohol or date rape drugs in order to undermine women’s ability to resist sex. Party rapists also target drunk women because they are more likely to blame themselves, are likely to lack credibility if they report assaults, and may be unable to remember a night’s events clearly.

  • Watch for men who pressure you to drink or seem overly enthusiastic about getting you drunk.
  • Be careful with mixed punches or “jungle juice.” Their contents and alcohol volume are often a mystery.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended.
  • Never leave a friend alone when she’s had too much to drink.

(2) Divide and conquer. Party rapists target women who are alone and try to separate women from their friends.

  • Make arrangements with friends to stick together and agree on when to intervene if things look like they are getting out of hand. “Many women said they had the most fun when they went to parties with a mixed group of guys and girls,” Armstrong said. “Their male friends could ‘run interference’ if a guy was making someone feel uncomfortable.”
  • Stay in a public place like the dance floor or seating area, and stay out of private rooms.

(3) Disorientation. Party rapists target women who are disoriented and try to put women in unfamiliar situations.

Women who are assaulted are often blamed for the choices they’ve made. It is never a woman’s fault when she is assaulted